Neymar on target again as Brazil beat Austria

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"We are drawn to machine learning models because they can sift through a large number of possible explanatory variables to produce more accurate forecasts than conventional alternatives", a group of strategists from Goldman's global research team wrote in a client note.

In Coutinho they have a brilliant playmaker, in Paulinho they have a traditional box-to-box midfielder, and in Casemiro they have a resolute holder. Brazil, if not the favorite, is one of the two or three favorites to lift the World Cup trophy on July 15.

The Manchester City striker opened the scoring with a superb finish before Neymar doubled Brazil's lead in stunning fashion.

And writing in the New York Times, Julien Guyon raised another critical concern: that the new format for the World Cup group will increase the incentive for teams to help each other and play to a mutually beneficial result during the World Cup group stage.

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The Fifa president Gianni Infantino encountered opposition to yet another of his proposals in Moscow on Sunday as members of football's governing body made a decision to shelve plans for an expanded 48-team World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

Jesus is Brazil's leading scorer under Tite's management, ahead of Neymar, who got his name on the scoresheet in the 63rd minute.

In an iconic moment of disappointment for Neymar and the Selecao, it would take the mental strength of a truly world-class talent to step out of adversity and become the pivotal force to lead a nation forward once again.

Brazil also face Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E in Russian Federation as they look to hit back from their shock 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany on home soil four years ago.

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The 26-year-old had come off the bench to score in last weekend's 2-0 win over Croatia in Liverpool, his first appearance since suffering a foot fracture playing for PSG in February and then returning to his homeland for surgery.

Injury also ruled Neymar out of Brazil's 7-1 humiliation on home soil against Germany in the 2014 World Cup semi-final but he believes Tite's current crop should make no secret of their bold ambitions in Russian Federation.

Fans watching around the world admired the skill that Neymar displayed for his goal.

With one former champion in Italy failing to qualify for the big dance, it is perhaps safe to say that one of the remaining seven former champions will add to their World Cup title tally.

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